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First Monday: Open Source Software Development as a Special Type of Academic Research

Oct 08, 1999, 16:42 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nikolai Bezroukov)

"Eric Raymond's bazaar model provides a too simplistic view of the open source software (OSS) development process. This paper tries to explore links between open source software development and academic research as a better paradigm for OSS development. Open source software development should better be viewed as a special case of academic research. Viewing OSS this way probably can lead to a better understanding of open source phenomena..."

"The nature of open source development fascinates me - that's why I have become an observer and researcher on the open source process in addition to being a participant. At the same time during my tenure as an editor-in-chief of the Softpanorama Bulletin and my teaching career, I have become painfully aware of the overly optimistic and unrealistic views on open source held by students and partially even participants like Eric Raymond."

"There are several different reasons for this distortion of reality. Open source development is now fashionable and it makes big news. The news too often emphasize achievements and successful projects, but fails to address difficulties, failures and aborted projects. Failures are not news, in most cases. That leaves many with the impression that open source is a panacea and a "magic bullet" that will solve all, or almost all, difficulties. This paper is a skeptical treatment of the subject. I respect open source and believe that it is optimal in teaching, but I see a lot of problems..."

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